Birth certificate is no proof of Ghanaian citizenship - Supreme Court

The Supreme Court, in its judgement in the case between the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Electoral Commission (EC) has indicated that acquiring a birth certificate does not prove citizenship.

Supreme court of Ghana

The apex court in a unanimous decision contends that holding a birth certificate has no bearing of citizenship to the holder.


The court explains that the document does not establish “the identity of the bearer”.

This is contained in the court’s judgment in the case filed by private citizen Mark Takyi Banson which court delivered judgment on June 25 together with the case filed by the opposition NDC.

While the NDC case wanted the current voters ID card to be used in the registration exercise, Mr. Banson made a case for the inclusion of birth certificate insisting it proves identity of prospective voters as Ghanaians who have turned 18.

The decision written by Justice Ashie Kotey states that a birth certificate does not link its holder to the information it contains. It adds that it provides no evidence of citizenship.

The court compares it to another document it has already rejected; the National Health Insurance Cards and concludes it’s actually better than the Birth Certificate.

It is worthwhile to note that the birth certificate is used as a source document for various registrations including passports which are currently being used in voter registration.


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